The View from the Golden Promise is a chance to see the bottles under the hammer at finespirits.auction in a new light. To give you this fresh perspective, we’ve called on two experts from the Golden Promise Whisky Bar.
55%, 70 cl, 2014
I like the balance and finesse of this Caroni enthusiasts have affectionately nicknamed “No Smoking” in reference to the photo used on its label. It, of course, reveals the distillery’s famous notes of hydrocarbon, but these are incorporated into a more vast and nuanced whole, with various fruity (pineapple, banana), mentholated and iodine dimensions. At a distillery known for the power and inimitable character of its rums, this bottling has discretely become something of a reference point.
62%, 70 cl, 2016, Bourbon Cask & Cognac Cask
This bottling marked the beginning of a long and rich collaboration between Luca Gargano and Richard Seale. Staying true to the distillery’s standard practices, it is a blend of rums distilled in column and pot stills. The dominant feature of this edition is its rich sweetness, incarnated in notes of cappuccino, caramel and coconut. A handful of sweet spices (spice bread), blonde tobacco and a hint of a mint are also found. A true masterpiece!
62%, 70 cl, #1002015, For La Maison du Whisky
It was a fairly daring move to mature this Yoichi for 25 years in a new oak butt (approx. 500 litres), especially as it is a more peated version of the spirit. But, once again, Nikka has proved its incredible skills in both distillation and maturation, and I think this Yoichi 1988 is probably the best cask ever selected from the distillery by La Maison du Whisky. The nose is round and well-balanced, with peat and vanilla kicking off proceedings, followed by lime, spices (star anise, nutmeg) and liquorice stick. The wood is well-incorporated, even allowing a glimpse of floral notes (peony, lilac). The palate is creamy and fruity (forest fruits) with beautiful notes of precious wood, spices and peat. The finish is long, peaty and spicy. Quite simply an incredible whisky where oak plays its part without ever overstepping the mark. Another, please!
58.6%, 70cl, Sherry Hogshead #329, For La Maison du Whisky
Founded in 2012, the company Rest And Be Thankful began initially by selecting and bottling casks of Bruichladdich and its peated expressions of Port Charlotte and Octomore, which comes as no surprise, as the founder was one of the people responsible for reopening the distillery in 2001. The Port Charlotte distillery, which was located in the village of the same name, closed in 1929 and no longer exists, but the warehouses and the former distiller’s house are still there as testaments to its existence. It is after this neighbouring distillery that Bruichladdich named its peated versions, in reference to the Port Charlotte style (also known as Lochindaal). Some casks are even matured in the original warehouses. I love the generosity of this version, in which the sherry cask—despite being smaller than usual (a hogshead with a capacity of 250 litres, roughly half the normal size)—has not smothered the whisky’s malty character. The nose is delicate, with the peat and smoke remaining discrete. It is also mineral, revealing a gorgeous heap of malted barley, before candied orange peel appears to remind us of the sherry cask maturation. The palate is generous, rich (chocolatey peat), vanilla and incredibly malty. Notes of dates (date) and candied orange echo the nose. The finish is long and salty, and lingers indefinitely on peaty smoke.